Photo: Adina Bielk

Within FEIF, education is organised at a national level. Each national association manages its own educational system for the learning of riding and horsemanship for Icelandic horses. The FEIF Education Department aims to standardize national educational matters at an international level. Training pathways for riding instructors are different for individual membership countries. These requirements vary based on national requirements, culture and history.

Some countries use a modular system for trainers, while other countries require would-be trainers to attend college, or even university-based training courses. 

The FEIF Education Department has created a system which allows the seamless recognition of qualifications and skills for instructors across all member associations, by using a list of competencies at various levels that is expected as a minimum standard.

The Matrix

Each level of the FEIF Education Matrix is defined by a set of minimum competencies shared by all countries that an instructor and trainer is expected to demonstrate. The Education Matrix maps four levels of instructor competencies. These share a comparable set of skills without having followed a joint syllabus or programme.

  • Level 1 Instructors are able to teach beginners and leisure riders in basic riding skills and gaited riding with a strong emphasis on horsemanship, keeping, handling and riding the Icelandic horse.
  • Level 2 Instructors are able to teach leisure riders, as well as competition riding up to intermediate level. This qualification may – but does not always – include proven competencies in the training of young horses.
  • Level 3 Instructors are able to teach at all levels, in different types of sport and breeding events. This qualification includes proven competencies in the training of young horses at an advanced level.
  • Level 4 instructors are international experts, able to teach and train other instructors, trainers and judges as well as horses and riders at all levels.
Johanna Elgholm

Photo: Annika Wahlström

Instructor / Trainer of the Year

FEIF recognizes the importance of instructors and trainers in our community.  These talented, dedicated individuals are essential to growing the Icelandic horse breed in terms of both popularity and utility all within the scope of FEIF’s mission.  FEIF established an “Instructor/Trainer of the Year” award in 2016 to acknowledge the outstanding teachers and trainers in the community.

Each year, FEIF invites the member countries to nominate one individual as their top instructor/trainer for the year.  The countries are free to choose any criteria to select their candidate.  However, the candidates must all be listed in FEIF Horse Trainers and Riding Instructors list.  All the candidates are listed on the FEIF Facebook page and the community is asked to choose their favorite.

The winner is announced at the annual FEIF Conference the following year.  Winners receive a free entrance ticket to either Landsmót or the World Championships depending on the year and a trophy.

Trainer of the Year

See who was trainer of the year in the past years

Get in touch

Contact the Education Committee or find an education leader 


Get the latest documents from the Education department.

News from Education 

Trainer/Instructor of the Year 2020

Trainer/Instructor of the Year 2020

The FEIF Trainer/Instructor of the Year award was established in 2016 and all FEIF members are invited to vote for the nominees. For 2020 FEIF received nominations from 6 FEIF member countries and 547 unique responders answered the survey in January 2021.The...

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Trainer of the Year voting – closed

Trainer of the Year voting – closed

We are excited to announce the nominees for the Trainer/Instructor of the Year 2020! Six well-known, active trainers/instructors from Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States were nominated from the FEIF member associations. The voting for...

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FEIF Christmas Greetings for 2020

FEIF Christmas Greetings for 2020

Still the barn, and silent the year, In spite of restrictions, we wish you good cheer The year started well, FEIF got off its feet In February in Iceland the committees did meet But woe! Soon after the world came to an end, No movement, no riding, not meetings my...

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